Your new webseries Year
of the Snake - in a few words, what is it about?
about a new born baby literally being thrown out into the void into this
reality and having to make sense of it. He has no one to help him, he only
has this weak passive stoner who lives life on autopilot. And you know I'm
trying to create my own mythology
were your sources of inspiration when writing Year of the Snake?
from 1966 and Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man. Morrison puts himself
into the comic he is writing and tells Animal Man sorry I killed your
family but we need some drama in this book. I really just wanted to make
something that existed in its own world that feels like ours, but doesn't
play by the same rules. Something that was about itself and about the form.
And the origin of Snake is just borrowed from the Silver
Surfer - the
story of a person in order to save his world from a monster who eats
worlds, Galactus, he becomes his super-powered servant. He becomes the
herald of Galactus. Showing up to planets and announcing death is coming.
I always saw Silver
Surfer as the herald of death.
of the Snake intended as a webseries from the get-go?
of we had planned out like a 3 part short film series where Snake and V need to literally build
God. They would defeat like Thor, and
Cain from Cain and Abel and the Mouth of Dog was always there. And collect these
relics that represented different ideologies but the stories would be
grounded and Snake was basically Henry Rollins. We wrote it and sat on it
and decided to make a different project instead - a feature. We had planned
to shoot a feature film called Rhino about very different content, a movie
more dramatic and grounded actually. But the lead actor had to bow out
last minute. So we had all these people and all these days off scheduled
for shooting. So danny Said hey let just make Year of the Snake. So we crafted a brand
new arch and shot that over the next several months instead of the
feature. A different actor almost played Snake! Once Pat was cast the
character changed completely and for the better. Writing was fun, Luke,
Danny, Pat and me just sat at the table and drank coffee and and
shouted and cried and laughed and passed around a book on all these
ancient world myths and Kraven's Last Hunt and watched Batman Forever and
The Master - we threw all these ideas on the white board and then that
eventually became the show.
Year of the Snake
being closely related to the superhero genre, is that a genre you're at
all fond of, and why (not)?
been a comicbook fan since my dad took me to the comicbook store and got
me a Batman vs Predator comic. It all started with Batman.
characters who resemble so much of what we want to see in ourselves. We
and we're like, hey if i took some karate classes and took some
community college courses on detective work and forensics I could be Batman! We like to see ourselves in the
heroes - take Spider-Man, this guy
sacrifices his life daily for US!! He ruins his relationships and lies to
loved ones because he is compelled to love us! Compelled to protect us you
know?! We are always looking for that hero to come save us from
ourselves - a savior that cannot be corrupted or bought and that's what
superheroes promise us. They are the new myths, the new Gods you know?
Look to comics for how to treat others. If we just realized it's just us
here, we're all alone, all we have is each other, then maybe we would all
Do talk about Year
of the Snake's special brand of humour for a bit!
know really it's just looking for any way to mock something going on in the
scene in or in the drama. The rule was ‘when something gets too
dramatic, cut the legs off.’ Some of my favorite moments were born from
improv too! I love stupid. I love stupid cringe-worthy humor that is
borderline not funny, that's what makes it funny to me.
can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?
just wanted to make sure it was genuine when it needed to be and really
fucking stupid when it needed to to be. When we get serious we let be
serious but never tread too far into drama - make sure the tone is still
very light. I just like my stuff to be bizarre. I don't care if you hate it
or love it, I just want a reaction. I'm also very conscious of what gets me
off or feels correct to me you know? If we planned a scene to go a certain
way but on set I'm feelig something completely different I'm going with that
on-set choice. It's all about intution for me. My biggest thing is brand
recognition. I want a Nic Collins film or a Twin Visuals film to be its
own thing. I want you to see something I made and say “oh yeah thats a Nic
Collins film” you know?
talk about Year of the
Snake's cast, and why exactly these people?
I try to work with the same people on every project. Once you figure
each other out on set and see how everyone vibes together there's this like
mental telekinesis happening and we all just get on the same page. Thats
the real magic you now the magic of filmmaking, i love working improvisers
too it makes your job easier, and your written dialogue sounds and feels more
true. Shoutout to daaang Judy Dench and Katalin Larson. Shoutout to FND
Films who I love working with so much they are brilliant filmmakers and
actors and love to play with me. They helped out so much and gave us so
much gear and props for Year of the Snake. Oh boy
Orlando Lara that sweet sweet man. He's this big old bastard who plays the most confident sexual creep as
Mouth of Dog, but in person he's just this big quiet sweet heart!! When the
shoots went late and everyone was just over it and laying down waiting for
the next shot, there's Orlando standing up “yeah sure I can do another
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
say I try to make my sets encouraging to creativity and loving. It's just
loose and fun and relaxed. When you work on a Twin Visuals set my goal is
for everyone to leave WANTING to come back play with us again! It's just
fun, it's the most alive I feel when I'm directing and goofing on set with
everyone. Then after wrap we all get fucked up and watch dailies and tell
each other how great we are! Just positive vibes man! Positive happy
$64-question of course, where can your webseries be seen?
you can tell us about critical and audience reception of the series?
been officially selected by 6 fests so far, which is good, and its gotten
some very positive blog write-ups and only one very negative review on Daily
Dot, look that shit up! But the way I see it - if someone goes out of
their way to write an article on your piece - love it or hate it - it got
under their skin, bitch!!! He wrote this pretentious old white man type
review judging it for its chaotic and bold style and totally not
understanding it. He referenced MySpace for godsake! MySpace!?
you ever revisit the world of Year
of the Snake in form of a sequel or something? And/or other future
projects you'd like to share?
wanna keep Year of the Snake alive forever!!
I would recast the main leads every season
and make it like a comic book where it's just this playground for ideas to
be torn apart and explored! Perfect world, season 2 would be a western but
set in a 60s Star
Trek built set. Like a desert and caves but covered in
purple sand. And water is like gelatin. And horses have human faces! Push
the otherworldly vile sci-fi/sexuality stuff but in the western setting! Always maintain the Year of the Snake mythos;
Snake is always sent to to kill the Special - Desolate One is always looking for the
Special - the false
prophet - the hunter ... the ochos.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
with toys and reading comics is where it all comes from. I already had
these backstories for the toys from the comics and could essentially
improv storylines with my toys and create all new stories for Batman
My brother and I would make movies as kids we did a James
Bond-type thing called 006 and 008. All through high
school my friends and I would make movies, I made a Watchmen feature film when
I was a junior in high school, look it up its online!! Shout-out to Rick Snyder and
Nisevich, Reid Schultz, Kristin Webster, Brian Patterson.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Year of the
Well I think the recurring theme is just the existential loneliness and how
futile your wants and goals are. I love characters. I love putting myself
in my characters - the good and the embarrassing. A lot of my previous work
has been about real people dealing with love and sex and making choices
that wind up hurting you and having no idea what or who you are even
though you think you really have it all figured out. Also made a lot of
comedies that mock various forms such as ghost hunting shows or political
talk shows. I try to include topics about race and treatment of women in
media as well.
How would you describe yourself as a
I don't romanticize what I do you know? making movies is just me getting
shit out of my system.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Cassavetes, Kubrick, Refn, Bergman, Mike Leigh, Jean-Pierre Melville, Leone,
Robert Downey sr, Gaspar Noe, Joe Swanberg [Joe
Swanberg interview - click here], Kevin Smith, oh man and
I gotta give a shout out to my peers whos work inspire me too! Ryan Ohm is
probably my favorite director out there. Emily Esperanza is a dark genius.
Chris Birkmeier just breathes filmmaking! Hannah Welever, Aidan Brezonick,
Elijah Alvarado, Michael Lyle, FND, Ryan Nanni, Sam Bailey, Austin
Vesely, Patrick Kennelly, Ben Fout, Tyler Holme, Punctuation Films,
Alex Bohs, man
so many brilliant directors I'm lucky to know and been inspired by a lot of
their shit!! I'm sure I'm leaving people out, there's just so many people who
right now are making next level stuff.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
X, Billy Jack, Shadows,
The Thing, Paths of Glory, Shame, Once Upon a Time
in the West, Husbands, A Woman Under the Influence, Wild
Virgin Spring, Bleeder, Pusher, Le Samourai,
Chasing Amy, Putney Swope,
High Fidelity, SLC Punk, Batman Forever, The Texas Chainsaw
A Scanner Darkly, On the Silver Globe, Hellraiser, the animated
from Disney like the 70s,
Naked, Irreversible, Boyz n the Hood, American
Psycho, La Haine, Bad Lieutenant, In Bloom.
... and of course, films you really
I fucking hated The Big Short, I fucking hate movies about white men arguing
about money! Like I fucking hated The Wolf of Wall Street! I just
can't find it
inside of me to care about those characters. I start to lose my mind. I really hate insincere films like rom coms that have these female
characters whose entire goal is to find the right man! That's gross! Or
like American Sniper that's kind of romanticization of the american
military product fucking horrible! Oh man, and I fucking hated that piece
of dishonest shit That Awkward Moment.
Your/your series' website, Facebook, whatever
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
I would love some fucking love donuts man, donuts and a giant ice
greasy chinese food and a 6 pack of PBR tall boys.
Thanks for the interview!